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Apr 27, 2014 6:47am EDT
a failed boycott of the 1936 olympic games in germany to protest hitler's treatment of the jews. during murphy's long tenure as boss tammany took the lead in challenging the very economic dogma that allowed a million irish people to starve to death during the famine. tammany's al smith and robert wagner led a sweeping investigation of working conditions after the terrible triangle shirtwaist fire in the village in 1911. as a result of their work, tammany passed dozens of new laws that put into place the beginnings of the modern social safety net. the owners of buildings and factories could no longer manage their property as they saw fit. government had a right to decide on the proper length of a workweek or how much a laborer in the canal system should earn in a day. society had an obligation to help workers injured on the job. families with to where to turn -- no where to turn should not be denied assistance regardless of their culture their beliefs or their worthiness. critics were astonished. a new years later al smith explained there were now two distinct groups in new york politics
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